There is no small pleasure.

After months of crossing the desert, Frenchman Gaël Monfils seems to be doing a little better on the courts with each passing day.

The 22nd player in the world qualified on Wednesday for the third round of the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati by signing the 500th victory of his career on the ATP circuit.

Monfils only needed two sets to get rid of Australian Alex de Minaur, 22, 18th player in the world and seeded No. 14, 6-3, 7-5.

“I felt good on the court, like yesterday.

I have been working for a long time, long months, but it was not going well.

With the atmosphere, the energy, the audience, it smiles a little more on me, ”said Monfils after the match to French journalists.

“I play better, I move better, even though there is a little discomfort in my ankle that forces me to be careful.

There is fun.

I'm trying to keep this course and I had a very solid game.

Confidence is also coming back and people also see me differently, because I win, ”he added.

Rublev in the next round

At 34, it was therefore Monfils' 500th victory. Only ten players still active did better than him, including only one Frenchman, Richard Gasquet (560). Questioned after his victory, the Parisian still remembers his first match on the ATP circuit, in 2004. “It was in Metz against Xavier Malisse and he had withdrawn. I remember all of my victories even though I've been in the circuit for a long time. I'm pretty happy with my career, ”he said.

The Frenchman will face in the next round the Russian Andrey Rublev, seeded N.4, who eliminated the Croatian Marin Cilic 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.

"Rublev and all these NextGen guys are going to be at the top of the game soon. Rublev is a hard worker, he's been in the Top 10 for a while. It's going to be a good game, I'll be ready," warned the coming back.

Hope it lasts.


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